The Summer Of ’16…

With autumn quickly approaching, I felt the desire to reflect on the summer of ’16 before it moves on.  I’ve been working on this post for several days, trying to find just the right words.  I’m not sure I ever did find them, but here goes…

I lived my first “summer of 16” many years ago.  Although I may not always recall what I ate for last night’s supper,  I can remember parts of that summer like it was only yesterday. It’s funny how age does that to ya’…or is it?

It was the summer of 1971, I was sixteen years old, and had already been engaged for about nine months. I was actually still quite young, but I felt old! I’ve always felt older in years than I really am.

That summer, in addition to working a summer job, I spent my days writing letters to, and receiving letters from Edward, the young man who would eventually become my husband in a few short months. Ed, who was serving in the army, had been overseas for nine months, but unfortunately, still had more than nine months left to go.  I had nine more months of high school left, as well.

I was about to embark on my senior year of high school, but I couldn’t wait to be finished with school, and become Ed’s wife!  My ‘hope chest’, in the corner of my bedroom grew fuller with each of my weekly paychecks.  At the end of each day, I anxiously crossed another day off of the calendar which hung on the wall, over my ‘hope chest’.  Life was waiting!

Flash forward another forty-five years, which really seem more like ten years.  Ed and I have been already been married forty-four years, have raised three children, and are now retired.   Our children are all married, with children of their own.  We have four beautiful grandchildren. The majority of our life story has already been lived.  We like to think we still have several chapters to go, but who ever really knows?

As autumn approaches, and I prepare to say goodbye to the second “summer of 16” of my lifetime, I have to say,  this one’s been quite different from the one of my youth!  For one thing, my body doesn’t look or feel anything like the body of the sixteen-year-old girl I used to be.  Today’s 16  refers to what year it is, not my age!

These days, I’m a “mature” woman.  I’m also a wife, mother, and grandmother, with years of life experience behind me, some good and some bad.  Oh, if only I could have possessed a small fraction of today’s knowledge, back in my first summer of 16, I’d surely have changed a few things along the way!  Wouldn’t we all?

This summer of 16 has been one of the most difficult and trying summers of my life.  There have been lots of personal struggles for me, even a few ‘ghosts of the past’ have come back to haunt me.  There’s been much turmoil and strife among our family since shortly after Mother’s Day, and it’s been tough on all of us.  Although we’ve tried several times, to get things reconciled, somehow, it’s never really seemed to work out.  There are days when I wonder if things will ever be normal again, but, I continue to pray, and turn it over to God. It’s all I know to do.

As if family turmoil wasn’t enough, we’ve experienced some religious turmoil, this summer, too. After five long years of being without a church to call our own, Ed and I thought we’d finally found our new church home.  Long story made short, we were mistaken.  After four months, Ed and I, along with several ‘long-time’ church members, suddenly found ourselves without a church, as it became painfully apparent some deacons of the church weren’t interested in heeding the biblical instructions of their pastor.  Those deacons now have “their church” to run, but they have no pastor, only a handful of members, and a bleak-looking future for the church.

Of course, the summer of sixteen hasn’t been all bad, though. There have been lots of good times, scattered among the heartache.  I’ve learned that life must go on, even through turmoil and strife.  Our family has celebrated holidays, accomplishments,  birthdays and anniversaries, even though all members weren’t present for the celebrations.

In addition, we’ve made some new friends, and we’ve enjoyed the company of some dear old friends, too. This summer, Ed and I were still able to grow another successful garden, and we were still able to can lots of food, even after Ed’s heart attack and my back surgery!  Praise the Lord!  And, although we felt we had to leave a church we loved, we carry lots of good memories from the time we were there, and we move on to wherever God leads us…

Yesterday’s gone, there’s no way to change it or get it back, but today is what really matters!  It’s our ‘present’, and we really need to make the best of it.  I’m trying, believe me, I’m trying.

Happy Monday!





Published in: on September 19, 2016 at 7:29 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. No comment. There’s no way I can enlarge on your last paragraph. It says it all.

  2. Well, I ditto your last paragraph and virginiafair’s comment. Your heart and your attitude toward it all is right where it is supposed to be. Hugs!!

  3. I’m just so sorry Kathy. Family turmoil is so painful and I can hear the sorrow in your words. I think every family has it’s own sort of ‘drama’ if you will, and it all hurts. Keep praying and keep doing what you know is right and making the most of your presetnt. Hugs to you xo

  4. A poignant post, Kathy! May you and Ed have many more precious moments as you live through the recent rough patches. Now I have to think awhile and try to remember my “other” summer of 16.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have’t got the strength to write about all the things that happened in ’16. We must move forward with hope and know that God has a plan for us. I haven’t been a member of a church in a number of years but my relationship with Him is stronger than ever. ((Hugs))

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